Review by HyperShadow4321

"It's time to play some Tag, Advance Wars style..."

Ok, sorry for the corny tagline. Now, anyone who has played Advance Wars games would know that they started on the Game Boy Advance with Advance Wars and Advance Wars 2: Black Hole Rising. And they were, well, both pretty much the same in terms of gameplay. But now, Intelligent Systems has simply added on to it, you might be thinking right now, "Oh no, has Intelligent Systems done something to my beloved Advance Wars!?". Yes, my friend, Advance Wars just got way better.

Graphics: 9/10

I would give this a 10, but, well, they are exactly the same as they were on the Game Boy Advance. The COs(Commanding Officers) pictures look a little more detailed, but they are irrelevant to the graphics of the main part of the game. This game is 2D, and is fine that way. It's better that way I say, because it's kinda hard to imagine Advance Wars in 3D, then it would probably be on the GameCube, and we all love our awesome portable strategy game that we can take everywhere, don`t we?

Sound: 8/10

Ok, the sound-effects in Advance Wars DS are just as they should be. They cover the units moving, the firing sounds, explosions, ect. When a tank moves across a plain, you hear tank treads moving. When an infantry unit moves, you hear the footsteps, or when it goes across certain terrain it will sound a bit different to match the terrain. When aircraft move, you hear the screech-like sound of it soaring through the air. Everything is perfect in the sound-effects department.

This is pretty much where I took off for the sound points, but don`t take it into too much consideration before making your choice of if you want this game or not. The music in Advance Wars DS is good, but they get repetitive after time. Each CO has his/her own techno-like theme song, which gets kinda annoying after a while, and I end up turning the sound down. Each of their theme song sorta defines their personality a little though, like Grit's theme song for example, sounds more laid-back, Guitar sound, and Grit's personality is well...laid-back.

Story: 7/10

Well, if you played the other two Advance Wars games, the story was a bit lacking, the gameplay was where it was at pretty much. Advance Wars DS's story is a little better, but still nothing special at all. Of course, in strategy games, the story does not make the game, right? So Basically, the Black Hole army is invading your land. The countries of Orange Star, Blue Moon, Green Earth, and Yellow Comet have joined forces to keep things peaceful. I won`t spoil anything for you about what happens though of course.

Gameplay :10/10

Well, here we are, this is of course, the meat of the game, and what a fine game it is. To start off, in each mission, you have an objective. Your objective varies though, in most missions you simply have to either destroy all the enemies or capture the enemies headquarters. In some you have specific objectives to ensure victory, which may be like destroying certain things and such, I don`t want to elaborate much and spoil much for you though. Besides, if you have played the other AW games, the campaign mode might fall a bit easier than the previous, but it is still worth picking up.

To start off, there are alot of units to use, all of the old ones from the previous games are back, with the addition of some new ones, I don`t want to spoil the suprise of them though, they are definitely worth it though.

In some missions you have a set amount of units, which consist of things like infantry, tanks, artillery, aircraft, naval units, ect. In most missions though, you have the same units of course, but you also have bases to build units out of. Building units costs cash. You get one-thousand dollars per captured city you have per day. You also get one-thousand dollars per day for each base, airport, and naval base you have also. You capture bases/cities by simply moving a infantry or mech unit onto one and choosing the "capture" option. The amount of turns it takes to capture depends on your units HP.

They way the fighting works is simple though, you tap your unit with the stylus using the touch screen(or use the D-pad if you prefer not to use the stylus), when your unit is selected, the spaces it can move to are highlighted, to move to that space, tap it with your stylus, then you have your options to "Fight", "Capture(if you are standing on a capturable property), or "Wait". Some units have special options which you will find yourself though. The "Fight" command appears when there is an enemy unit in range of your attack. When you choose which enemy you want to attack(also by using the D-pad or stylus) a box in the bottom-left of your screen will show a percentage. This percentage is very important, it says how much damage you will do to an enemy. If the enemy has 10 HP, and your tank is going to do 37% damage, then the enemy will have 6.3 HP left, but will be shown as 6 HP, to keep it simple. The damage you do, and that your enemy does will be effected by what the unit is standing on though. Properties, forests, mountains, ect will all affect the units defense. Terrain will also effect the units movement, for example, ground units can`t go on water, and boats can`t go on land, kinda goes without saying, right? Aircraft have no terrain effects. And vehicles cannot go over mountains.

Now, about COs. Before battle, you have a choice of a CO(commanding officer). Different COs have stronger/weaker units than each other, and have different bonuses and such. Each CO has his/her own unique "CO power" also. As you do damage and take hits, your CO bar will fill up, once it gets to a certain point, you can activate your CO power, their effects vary greatly between COs though. Once your bar gets to an even higher point though, you can activate your "Super CO power", which is normally even better than the previous power.

Finally, the part you might have been waiting for, the new features to this game. In most battle in this game you will experience "Tag-Team" battles. In these battles, you choose out of any of the unlocked COs, and when you are done using that CO, you have the "Change" option to swap between COs, which can add to more devastating strategies.(Swapping COs ends your turn though) Also, in these battles "Tag-CO powers" are available. What these do, are when both COs bars get to maximum(meaning you both can use their Super CO powers), you can use your Tag CO power, when you use it, whichever CO you have selected first uses his Super CO power, then you just move like normal(depending on what two COs you have teamed up, your units might be stronger than normal). When you are done, instead of the option to end your turn, you only have the "Change" options. When you use it, instead of ending your turn this time, all your units become useable again, and you switch to the other CO, THEN that CO uses his Super CO power also. So, two Super CO powers + a second turn, awesome.

You will also experience "Dual Front" battles where two battles go on at once, you choose one CO for the top screen battle, and one for the bottom. If you win on the top front, your CO comes down and you play like a normal Tag-Team battle. The loser of the top screen battle is eliminated. Leaving the loser of the top screen to fight by himself against a Tag-Team, unable to use the awesome Tag-CO powers, while his enemies can.

Multi-player: 10/10

Same as before, except against your friends through wireless play, you can create your own maps to fight on, and have fun fighting your friends. Not a whole lot to explain about Multi-player.

Replay Value: 10/10

If your as addicted to strategy games as me, then you will be playing this game for a long time since there is so much to do.

Overall: 10/10

Simply put, this game is awesome. AW1 was awesome, AW2 was awesome, and AWDS is a worth sequel. The new features will add much more fun and much more strategy than the previous had. This is probably the best DS game out at the time. Even if you aren't a big fan of strategy games, try this. Or rent it. If you are a big fan of strategy games, then get this, NOW. For the low 35$ price tag, it's definitely worth every buck.

Reviewer's Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Originally Posted: 08/30/05

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